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Fripp And Eno - Evening Star CD (album) cover

EVENING STAR

Fripp And Eno

Progressive Electronic


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Syzygy
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Fripp and Eno's second collaborative effort marked a considerable advance on their debut. On vinyl, tracks 1 - 4 took up side 1 while the lengthy An Index Of Metals filled side 2, and the contrast between the two halves of the album was striking.

Side 1 saw the duo exploring the more melodic possibilities of the guitar/tape loops/synth set up. Wind on Water, taken from a widely bootlegged French concert (Air Sculptures: the sound quality is appalling, don't bother) opens the proceedings with Fripp unleashing barrages of high speed clusters of notes over a backdrop of what would later be known as Frippertronics. For a piece created largely by tape delay systems it's a joyous, life affirming noise, which segues neatly into the gorgeous title track. Over a bed of tape loops (a couple of guitar arpeggios and a simple 6 note figure played on 12th fret harmonics) Fripp unleashes a slow paced, heartfelt solo of rare beauty and precision. Eno punctuates the music with the odd discreet synth embellishment, and at one point a few notes on piano are added to the mix. It seems that on this piece they took Miles Davis' advice and didn't play all the notes, just the beautiful ones. Side one closes with a couple of shorter pieces - Evensong is a Satie- esque piece composed of interlocking tape loops, while Wind on Wind is an extract from Eno's pioneering ambient piece Discreet Music. The mellow woodwind sound he coaxes from his synth brings the proceedings to an appropriately low key close.

The second half of the album picks up where the steely, dark ambience of No Pussyfooting left off and takes it to an altogether deeper level of intensity. Fripp's guitar noise is looped on itself to the Nth degree, creating a near impenetrable wall of sound. For much of the time it seems as though nothing is happening, although the odd fragment of something analagous to a tune can be heard from time to time. Where side 1 is full of space and light, An Index Of Metals exists in a disturbing minmal space where the odd flicker of light illuminates a distorted shape in the distance. Highly uneasy listening, but it rewards attention - there's a lot happening below the surface.

Although Fripp and Eno's paths would cross again, notably on Bowie's Heroes album, it would be almost 30 years before a third album would emerge, by which time technology had moved on an almost unimaginable distance. The fact that this album was made with a guitar, a monophonic synth and a couple of Revox reel-to-reel tape machines is remarkable. What is truly amazing is that so much could be achieved with such meagre resources.

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Send comments to Syzygy (BETA) | Report this review (#40744)
Posted Thursday, July 28, 2005 | Review Permalink
Eetu Pellonpää
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars This record is an awesome sample of the collaboration between ROBERT FRIPP and BRIAN ENO. The way of using frippertonic loops have matured dramatically since "No pussyfooting" record done two ears before. I guess Robert had more time to concentrate to this style of his playing, as KING CRIMSON had been disbanded a year before this release. There are also some subtle keyboard lines from Brian included, which makes the album less dogmatic and more pleasurable to listen. I also think that the "Evening star" track has the greatest guitar solo that Fripp (or anybody) has ever played! Robert and Brian did also some concerts around this material, but sadly they are not officially released (at least yet).

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Send comments to Eetu Pellonpää (BETA) | Report this review (#41039)
Posted Sunday, July 31, 2005 | Review Permalink
2 stars I have a particular tenderness for Robert Fripp (King Crimson, the first, second and third generations) and for Brian Eno (Roxy first generation and its first albums). I admit that I support badly this music type (said explorating music?). Impossible to vibrate, to commune. It is really too stabbing. Robert and Brian, I love you when you make of the true (genuine) electronic progressive rock.

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Send comments to miedj (BETA) | Report this review (#44984)
Posted Wednesday, August 31, 2005 | Review Permalink
Sean Trane
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog Folk
2 stars 2,5 stars at most!!!

In the footstep pf their first album , I had listened to this one at the same time and the same opening comment I made in the other review (the debut No Pussyfooting) applies here: where is the beef?

As the second vinyl side is a carbon copy of their debut , most of the hopes for this one relies on the shorter tracks on sode 1. Alas , to no avail. However influential this album and the preceeding one were , it is mostly due to musos's stamina and their high acceptance from the specialized press from Britain. All of this had been done in germany a few years earlier without havinf one tenth of the publicity.

As this second album is less important historically , I will not round up to the upper unit!

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Send comments to Sean Trane (BETA) | Report this review (#45729)
Posted Tuesday, September 06, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars Quite simply a sublime and beautiful album. The songs are more fully realized than on the first Eno-Fripp collaboration No Pussyfooting and are consequentially more emotional and moving. The second side (when recordings had sides) An Index of Metals is one of the most dark and compelling ambient frippertronics pieces I've ever heard. The shorter pieces run the gamut from sublime to trancendant, always interesting and often hauntingly melodic. This album is a tour de force and highly recommened or those who enjoy musicians stepping out and playing in an unproscribed fashion.

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Send comments to Tylosand Ektorp (BETA) | Report this review (#46785)
Posted Thursday, September 15, 2005 | Review Permalink
3 stars It's not a bad album, I think. Of course, too much synths and repetitive musical ideas can exhaust. But I consider "Wind on Water" "Evening Star" "Evensong" and "Wind on Wind" are good themes, closer to Ambient music, and well-constructed. But this album should be only themes like these four, 'cause "An Index of Metals" is, in my opinion, the worst "thing" that I've ever listened. Wherefore I give only three stars to this album. Is good, but non-essential, and this last theme is, certainly, horrid. The best is, maybe, the cover.

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Send comments to komun (BETA) | Report this review (#96141)
Posted Sunday, October 29, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars Simplicity in music world is the most beautiful of all feelings. Evening Star is not for everyone but for those who can feel is so delicate, lovely, and aesthetically moving. Brian Eno and Fripp are masters at making simple things sound more beautiful than the most complex pieces. The track "Evening Star " is as close to a painting as music can get. A true taste of the eternal cosmic life and to me this cd hints at the glories that await us in heaven.

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Send comments to kanaanII (BETA) | Report this review (#117355)
Posted Wednesday, April 04, 2007 | Review Permalink
3 stars Celestial to the extent of vapor, Fripp & Eno's second collaboration is a finely pious experience. Terribly difficult to characterize, this unearthly music abducts its audience, soundly carrying them to the world unseen. Ambient music is a difficult thing to grasp for many. The connection between listener and player is very delicate, and requires lots of patience, but when taken advantage of, we can really delve into this vein of music. Though this certainly is not an ideal starting point for ambient music, those who already enjoy this type of music will fall in love with the simple beauties of the title track, and all the atmospheric techniques these two geniuses use on all of side one. Unfortunately, excessive droning in the massive 28 minute An Index of Metals will likely be perceived unneeded by many, but for fans of minimalism, meditative, and lush music, like myself, it is beautiful. Evening Star always transport me off earth, but those who aren't huge fans of minimalism will ask, "Can I go back now?"

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Send comments to Shakespeare (BETA) | Report this review (#129655)
Posted Saturday, July 21, 2007 | Review Permalink
2 stars Take the last 9 or so minutes of Moonchild from KING CRIMSON's In The Court Of The Crimson King and stretch it for 48 minutes and this is what you come up with. Sorry to say that the only things you will feel while listening to this album are boredom and occasional drowsiness. The album starts off slow enough with its opening four songs leading up to the epic final track An Index of Metals which is actually a very fitting title as it does sound like 28 minutes of someone very calmly and deliberately indexing a collection of metals with all the excitement of reading a periodic table. I truely hate to brutalize a work by Robert Fripp but I also don't see what anyone gets out of ambient music. The only people I can really recommend this album to are insomniacs. Maybe a much more patient listener will be able to sit back, relax, and get something meaningful out of this album but all I got was z's. At most this is a 1.75 effort but that rounds up to a very generous 2 Eno indused comas out of 5.

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Send comments to manofmystery (BETA) | Report this review (#160711)
Posted Monday, February 04, 2008 | Review Permalink
tarkus1980
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars The second album credited to Fripp & Eno is a bit different from the first in that it can actually be considered (in parts) music, as opposed to a presentation of research work into new and emerging sonic techniques. The tracks are completely instrumental, dominated by Eno's synths and Fripp's guitar warblings passing through the Frippertronics sound system, but some of them are downright beautiful and atmospheric and all those good things that an average good static instrumental should be (whereas "The Heavenly Music Corporation" was really just "interesting" and "disturbing"). The opening "Wind on Water," in particular, is a terrific piece of gorgeousness, with Eno's synths (the "Water") undulating and 'washing' up and down (in volume) and side to side (in channel) while Fripp's guitar (the "Wind") plays little compact swirling patterns, and the five and a half minutes really pass much too quickly (at least, when I'm paying attention and when I have the volume up loud to catch the dynamics).

Then it's onto the title track, which matches the atmosphere of the name and of the album cover very well. The purpose of the low, growling "biker" guitar noises that pop up from time to time is unclear to me, but they're only a slight blight on a bunch of gorgeous guitar noodling (Fripp wouldn't really ever make heavy use of this tone in his Crimson work until some parts of the 90's incarnation, and even then only very sparsely) over strummed acoustic guitars and some whee bits of Eno here and there (particularly in the second half, when some piano pops up). In its eight minutes, it does more for me than any selected eight minute bit from No Pussyfooting could do in a million years. And then there's "Evensong," which is more in the "Wind on Water" vein, only with a much sparser Eno presence (but still with subtle changes in volume and balance throughout), and "Wind on Wind," which is actually a brief passage from the upcoming Discreet Music, featuring only Eno's synths (the intent was to provide Fripp a base on which to play over this in concert). Both of these fit in with the mood of the first two tracks splendidly, even if they're not quite as amazing, and the end result of the first half is some of the best meditation (not to mention "communal with the universe") music I can imagine. In short, it's pretty much a total triumph.

Unfortunately, the album doesn't sustain this sense of beauty throughout, which causes the rating to plummet a long ways. The second side is occupied by a single track, the 28:44 "Index of Metals," which falls back into the "show-and-tell" mode of No Pussyfooting, and given that it doesn't even have academic value for me (that is, I don't see what this track accomplishes that wasn't accomplished by the tracks on that album), it's hard for me to find any enjoyment here. I'm sorry, but while it's neat that the distortion of individual guitar notes essentially ends up getting stuck to the tape as if it were flypaper, causing the distortion of the whole piece to build up over time, it's extremely difficult for me to look past the fact that it seems like there are stretches that consist of one note being sustained for about ten minutes. My brother likes it because it functions as "music by which to scare small children," but given that I don't have any particular desire to give any children nightmares anytime soon, it doesn't exactly have much use for me in that direction either. And, well, did I mention that it's 28:44?

So basically this is an album that starts off fantastic and ends up buried in a giant pile of, well, Metals. If you can find some way to get the first side without the second, jump at it; if you decide to pay full price for this, be very aware that only half of it is good (at least, if you trust my taste at all).

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Send comments to tarkus1980 (BETA) | Report this review (#289943)
Posted Sunday, July 11, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars This album is in my opinion the perfection of ambient music. I like all of Fripp and Eno's collaborations, but this one has much more of a sense of direction in my mind. They have clearly taken the tape loops concept to another level here, as parts fade in and out sometimes in phase with each other, sometimes not. Which creates awesome textures and landscape effects. This album has a way about it that puts me in kind of trance, and just think endlessly. The first two tracks are amongst the most beautiful music I've ever heard, giving the impression of...well wind and water...gazing out over the ocean. An Index of Metals is easily my favorite track on the album. Many seem to not like it for some reason unapparent to me. It's ambient in more of a dark scary kind of way, very powerful to me. People criticize it's length, which really makes no sense to me as this is the kind of album you'd be listening straight through anyway. Whats the difference if its a bunch of short tracks continuing into each other or a few longer tracks?

Out of the four Fripp and Eno albums I have (three studio, one live) this one is my favorite. I've over listened to it since it was the first I had, but it remains my favorite ambient album of all time.

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Send comments to himtroy (BETA) | Report this review (#291791)
Posted Saturday, July 24, 2010 | Review Permalink
colorofmoney91
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Evening Star take the same idea of the debut collaboration between Robert Fripp and Brian Eno, but ultimately comes off as a bit boring, in my opinion. The soundscapes on this album are roughly the same, if not a little more on the ambient side of things, and Fripp's wonderful guitar only makes a difference in sound on the last (and best) track of the album, "An Index of Metals", which is nearly 30 minutes of droning buzzscape with very alien and experimental sounding electrically manipulated guitar phrasing that adds a certain enigmatic texture to the track. Unfortunately, the rest of the tracks are nothing more than soothing ambient drones that sound full, but are not particularly interesting.

Though this isn't as experimental or overall interesting as No Pussyfooting, this album is still a beautiful listen. But, if you liked Music for Airports, then this will most likely be very enjoyable.

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Send comments to colorofmoney91 (BETA) | Report this review (#438630)
Posted Sunday, April 24, 2011 | Review Permalink
Warthur
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars A more diverse and mature album than No Pussyfooting, at least partially because both Fripp and Eno had had a chance to have a think about what this whole "ambient" thing they've cooked up is and what they might do with it, Evening Star consists of a side of shorter tracks based on a variety of approaches (and featuring some absolutely gorgeous guitar solos from Fripp) and a side-long epic in the form of An Index of Metals, which is a Frippertronic piece which essentially restates the premises of No Pussyfooting but does so in a more engaging and interesting fashion. In this particular case, experience really does show - No Pussyfooting might have shown promise, but it was Evening Star that fulfilled it.

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Send comments to Warthur (BETA) | Report this review (#547908)
Posted Monday, October 10, 2011 | Review Permalink

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